BP Oil Spill Response
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The Bp Oil Spill crisis is one of the greatest oil spill accident in the history of man. About five million barrels of oil, had already spilled into the Gulf of Mexico, before the spill was brought under control, (Hoch, 2010). This was a big blow to the company reputation as the spill was heavily blamed on the company’s negligence. The spill resulted into massive destruction of the environment and, therefore, in order to restore its image and reputation BP management had to come with communication strategies that were aimed at restoring the corporate among her stakeholders at all cost. The spill had been one of the largest corporate crises which largely affected the image of the company; the BP management had no option but to respond in a powerful way in order to restore the reputation of the company (Holbrook & Mohr, 2010). As a response to the crisis, the company created a website which was multi-purpose, and it was named “Gulf of Mexico Restoration” to effectively communicate its crisis management response to its stakeholders such as members of the public, investors and customers effectively. Overall, to communicate its message of oil spill crisis management to its stakeholders effectively, BP used blog, audio communication and video strategies of communications to rebuild its reputation.
The company usage of audio communication strategy has been effective in helping the company rebuild its reputation. The company communicates to its stakeholders using the various measures that it has employed, to deal with the crisis and to ensur that future crises do not occur, as a result of negligence on its part. The company is using a persuasive, uplifting and positive language to rebuild its reputation in the long run. For example, on the audio communication on the website, the company operational manager explains how the company is investing in research to ensure that future engineering and system failures, as a result of negligence, are not to be experienced in the future. The manager uses appealing language to the audience that builds the trust, of the stakeholders, on company’s operations (Browne &John, 1997). This message helps to restore the lost confidence of the public on the ability of the company’s technical team to respond to crises in the future. The message assures the stakeholders that the company has put measures to ensure that the same crisis is not experienced in the future. The audio message, which uses a persuasive language, is also used to let the stakeholders know that the company has put in place measures to clean up the gulf which was heavily affected by the oil spill (Russell, 2009). The company is able to show that it was sorry for the accident, and it is much concerned of the damages that spill caused on the environment, by assuring the public that it is reducing the impact of the spill on the ecosystem by cleaning it up.
The second communication strategy that is being used in the website is pictures. The pictures show the drilling platforms that the company is engaged in to ensure that future drilling activities are clean and safe. For example, the pictures show cleaning up exercise thaat is carried out to ensure that the Gulf is cleaned from the harmful chemicals that got into the ocean after the oil spill. The pictures also show pristine beaches, and this indicates that the company has helped in bringing back the Gulf beaches to their earlier form before the spill. This rebuilds the lost trust of the members of the public on future operations of the company especially engineering activities (Coombs, 2007).
Finally, the company uses video as a third strategy to communicate effectively to her stakeholders about the Gulf of Mexico oil spill accident. In this video, the company shows the stakeholders that it accepts the negligence by her engineers that resulted into the oil spill crisis. For instance, the video shows the damages that resulted from the oil spill such as death of animals living in the water around the Gulf of Mexico where the spill took place. The video shows residents of the Gulf, making the company look more American. This video helps the company to counteract claims that it is not American, and that is why it did not respond immediately to the spill crisis. It also shows up the clean up exercise that is carried out by the company to restore the environment (Jeffrey, Stephen and Gold, 2010).
In conclusion, the three audio-visual communication strategies have been effective in rebuilding the reputation of the company as they clearly demonstrate to the stakeholders how the company has responded to manage the crisis and measures that are in place to ensure that similar accident is prevented in the future.
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